Could Nicki Minaj be casting aside her reputation as a fashion trailblazer? Billboard reports that she's parted ways with Terrence Davidson, the celebrity wigmaker who made her celebrity wigs. Davidson cites "creative differences." Perhaps, after a career built on absurdist flamboyance, she's taking steps to revamp her image; several celeb blogs have made note of Minaj's recently toned-down appearance. It might be a good idea — if parting ways with your wigmaker is national news, you may want to recalibrate your style/substance ratio.
Further evidence: Nicki has just partnered with K-Mart to launch a line of apparel and accessories, which is so perversely uncool that it must be some kind of weird ploy to go over the coolness swing set into double-reverse coolness. "I am so excited to work with this iconic, mass retailer and to bring affordable fashion to my beautiful barbz all across the US," Nicki definitely actually said in a press release.
Maroon 5 insect Adam Levine is also doing stuff — probably even uncooler stuff — for K-Mart.
But they should beware, because even the best-laid vanity branding deals can go disastrously agley. For example, Pharrell Williams — who always looks a little too well-laid, in fact — has just had a big falling out with Qream, his vanity line of fruity liqueurs for women. Diageo, the beverage company behind the brand, announced that they would be shutting down the Qream line. Pharrell, who claims to have spent two years building the brand, is suing them for five million dollars. He blames botched marketing for the product's failure, saying that they sold it as a "club drink" instead of a "high-end, leisure class" beverage. Better hit eBay and stock up on delicious Qream, because it's sure to be a hot collector's item among fanatical Pharrellophiles for decades to come.
No word yet on whether Timbaland's Diageo-backed "sexy liqueur," Le Sutra, faces a similar fate.
Headline of the week: Billboard.com wins the prestigious No Shit, Sherlock Award for this one: "Randy Travis Was Drunk When Arrested Naked, Blood Alcohol Results Show."
Bieberwatch! Beleaguered Beliebers fatigued by recent crises — including a big breakup, a paparazzo death scandal, flirtation with "jazz cigarettes," and a gruesome self-harm prank on Twitter— have yet another reason to weep sweet tears of Someday perfume for their fallen angel: our little shit is now being sued by a former bodyguard for undignified treatment.
The reputable newsbeetles at TMZ report that security beefcake Moshe Benabou was pummeled by the tiny fists of our petulant manlet after a member of Bieber's entourage was kept at too great a distance. The ex-soldier chose not to repay the blows, which is why Justin Bieber is still pretty. Instead, he seeks a little over $420 thousand — duh-huh-huh-huh — from the lad.
Popera pussywillow Josh Groban is carefully balancing expectations for his upcoming album, All That Echoes, a revamped answer to the slightly sluggish sales of his previous set. In a Billboard interview, he tried to do right by his L.L. Beancore base while throwing a bone to those who yearn for a hardcore Groban. "I was concerned that the music just have a little pop or rock edge to it — whatever world I find myself in, it's just gotten really soft." Grobes is ratcheting up the punk flavor with help from Rob Cavallo, who's worked with extreme noise acts like Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day, and Meat Loaf. (If you're not convinced of their mutual interest in rocking the fuck out, please note — as Billboard carefully does — that Groban met Cavallo at a party thrown by Kid Rock.)